For many of my teenage years, I carried this quote with my like a child carries a comfort blanket. I felt as though I did not and could not properly belong to a physical place that could entrance and encompass me – and I ran. I started becoming a chronic wanderer, from city to city, country to country, province to province. I didn't wander to travel, however; I wandered to find a home. I adopted every new town in which I inhabited a bedroom as though it was a breathing organism that could offer me comfort and answers. Every new address put more miles between myself and where I came from; even now, I have a health card for one province and a driver's license for another, despite living in a third province completely separate from the aforementioned.
I looked to the city to heal me, but the city didn't know how. I quickly began to feel lost again when I started university, and with Capilano being the 7th school in 4 years graced with my semi-present state, I felt as though it was time to move on from Vancouver and the five different homes I had occupied. So when a then-current long distance boyfriend who I had been with for a year suggested I go to school in his province, I considered it. When I was rejected from UBC, told my grades were not good enough for a second year in my program at Cap, and was urged by my grandfather to go to Mount Allison, I packed up and moved 5000 kms across the country from a city of 2 million to a town of 5000. I figured that since I had been with my now ex-boyfriend for almost 2 years at that point and enjoyed the province, I could spend a year before moving on yet again. I got accepted, and 4 months later I entered the province in which I would eventually choose to plant my roots.
I'm 21 now, and I feel like I'm only now just coming out of the mindset of my 17 year old self, constantly looking for where I belong - for home. I just came from a summer where I ventured to another new place, with a new bedroom, in a new province – but this time, I did not go to adopt a home, for it adopted me. And when the summer was over, and I had a brand new apartment to move into back in the familiar town of Sackville, I did not leave by running away – I left it with gratitude, but most importantly, I left it looking forward to the next time I would return.
That's the thing about homes left behind. You can always return – you don't have to leave forever. Home isn't one physical location, it's not simply just the place you lay your head at night. It's a combination of all the places where you've left pieces of yourself. And once I begin life after college, first in a little Ontario town and eventually on a large New Brunswick farm, I will let my roots grow deep with migrant Maritime pride - but I will water them with saltwater from the Pacific and creekwater from the Mad River, honoring all the places I will continue to return to and refer to as home.